Post List

  • March 13, 2010
  • 03:23 PM

Looking for a post-coital snack?

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

Sexual partners do not always represent a healthy meal…

Sexual cannibalism, where a female preys on her male partner subsequent to copulation, is exhibited in several insect and arachnid species. Many hypotheses about the evolution of such a practice suggest that it is part due to the nutritional benefits to be had from chowing down [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 03:02 PM

Soft, wet and rather tough

by Lars Fischer in EuCheMS 2010 Blog

Hydrogels are the only materials that have the potential to be used as a replacement material for functional tissues like cartilage, sinews or muscles. However, while the biological wet and soft materials have impressive mechanical properties and are generally very tough, conventional hydrogels are rather brittle and tend to disintegrate under duress. With one exception, [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 02:08 PM

Evolving from Promiscuity to Monogamy

by Johnny in Ecographica

...despite the fact that promiscuous mating systems are the prevailing strategy in nature, environmental factors can push typically promiscuous species towards monogamy... case in point, a report published in the April issue of The American Naturalist details how the ‘mimic poison dart frog’ (Ranitomeya imitator) parted ways with promiscuity to adapt a lifestyle as the first scientifically recognized genetically monogamous amphibian. ... Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 12:29 PM

High Arctic soil carbon underestimated

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

Most people have heard about the potential positive feedback of soil carbon on climate: As temperatures warm, soil microbes are more active and permafrost begins to thaw–both of which can hasten decomposition and the release of CO2 to the atmosphere.  This, in turn, has the potential to accelerate warming.
A lot of us who study climate [...]... Read more »

Burnham, J. H., and R. S. Sletten. (2010) Spatial Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon in Northwest Greenland and Underestimates of High Arctic Carbon Stores. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. info:/10.1029/2009GB003660

  • March 13, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

The evidence is: status, communication training, and intrinsic rewards are positively associated with scientists communicating with the media

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Myths abound about how scientists do not talk with the media or communicate with the public and if they do so, it is only because they are required to by funders' "broader impact" requirements. The evidence, however, does not support this view. This article is another in a series of communications based on a multi-national study of how scientists in several fields communicate with the media. (you might have seen [1] or [2]). This article only uses data from US scientists who were re........ Read more »

Dunwoody, S., Brossard, D., . (2009) Socialization or rewards? Predicting U.S. scientist-media interactions. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 86(2), 299-314. info:/

  • March 13, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

AMS Climate briefing rundown

by Callan Bentley in Mountain Beltway

Yesterday I attended a climate change briefing hosted by the American Meteorological Society (in conjunction with NSF, AGU, AAAS, and the American Statistical Association). It was in the Hart Senate Office Building, but I didn’t see any senators at the briefing.
It was an interesting format: 3 talented speakers giving 3 “fifteen-minute” presentations (really more like [...]... Read more »

Solomon, S., Plattner, G., Knutti, R., & Friedlingstein, P. (2009) Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(6), 1704-1709. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812721106  

  • March 13, 2010
  • 08:08 AM

Cell Cycle Visualization in Development

by AndrewHires in Brain Windows

Atsushi Miyawaki’s lab has developed a series of neat tools for visualizing cell cycle progress.... Read more »

Sugiyama, M., Sakaue-Sawano, A., Iimura, T., Fukami, K., Kitaguchi, T., Kawakami, K., Okamoto, H., Higashijima, S., & Miyawaki, A. (2009) Illuminating cell-cycle progression in the developing zebrafish embryo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(49), 20812-20817. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906464106  

  • March 13, 2010
  • 06:10 AM

On emerging viruses

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

Investigators face a daunting black box with emerging viruses: the challenge of developing a universal therapeutic agent to combat a genetically proficient virus that quite likely has many more options for emergence than we have yet considered.

–Graham, R., & Baric, R. (2009). Recombination, Reservoirs, and the Modular Spike: Mechanisms of Coronavirus Cross-Species [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 10:01 PM

Move over cows! Methane outgassing in the Arctic Sea

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

Methane!  Move over cow flatulence and burping, methane is leaking from under the Arctic in a big way.  Methane, that innocuous-seeming molecule with 4 hydrogens and a carbon, is actually a more potent greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide molecule of greater fame–up to 25 times more potent actually.  However, atmospheric methane concentrations are much [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 09:20 PM

fMRI becomes big, big science

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

There are probably lots of criteria you could use to determine the relative importance of different scientific disciplines, but the one I like best is the Largest Number of Authors on a Paper. Physicists have long had their hundred-authored papers (see for example this individual here; be sure to click on the “show all authors/affiliations” [...]... Read more »

Biswal, B., Mennes, M., Zuo, X., Gohel, S., Kelly, C., Smith, S., Beckmann, C., Adelstein, J., Buckner, R., Colcombe, S.... (2010) Toward discovery science of human brain function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4734-4739. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911855107  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 08:30 PM

Self-Knowledge - Emotional Intelligence For Personal Growth Part IV

by David Johnson, MSW, LICSW in Dare To Dream

This is the fourth in a series of articles on emotional intelligence for personal growth.

Self-knowledge is something we all strive towards. But how many of us have done a complete review of our emotions and how they influence our thoughts and behavior? Most people find that pretty hard to do, especially since they struggle to put their feelings into words. We talk about "will power" as the ultimate motivation. It might surprise you to find out that motivation is really emotion.
Emotion in it's........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 06:59 PM

Obesity, more and more reports and resources!

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

There are it seems more reports and strategies concerning obesity than just about anything else. The strange thing is I have yet to read a bad strategy or poorly presented report, most of the papers are excellent. Its the scale and complexity of the problem that seems to be defeating us. The best report on the causes remain in my view the UK Government Foresight report, available on this site.  There is also the recently published Scottish report Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Sc........ Read more »


  • March 12, 2010
  • 06:45 PM

Thymus Transplant Extends Life in Old Mice

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Amidst the preprint list of the Rejuvenation Research journal, I see an interesting paper I'd somehow missed: life span can be extended in old mice by transplant of a young thymus. Noninvasive Neonatal Thymus Graft into the Axillary Cavity Extends the Lifespan of Old Mice: Neonatal thymus grafts exert a rejuvenating action on various immunological and nonimmunological functions found altered in old mice. Commonly, half of a thymus is grafted under the kidney capsule. The invasiveness of the surg........ Read more »

Basso, A., Malavolta, M., Piacenza, F., Santarelli, L., Marcellini, F., Papa, R., & Mocchegiani, E. (2009) Noninvasive Neonatal Thymus Graft into the Axillary Cavity Extends the Lifespan of Old Mice. Rejuvenation Research, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/rej.2009.0936  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 05:55 PM

Can going to church change your views of god?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Christians don't agree on the nature of their god. Their different ideas are many and varied, but one broad way of looking at it is that they tend to believe either in a personal god (one who takes an active, day-to-day interest in people's lives and also intervenes), or an impersonal, distant god (the sort of god who lights the blue touch paper at the moment of creation and then retires to a safe distance).So who believes in what kind of god? Well, that's the topic of a recent paper by Scott Sc........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 05:07 PM

Anatomy of a tuna’s internal compass

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

NOTE: This post was originally published in August of 2009, it was one of the first few research papers that I wrote about on this site; it’s been receiving a spike in hits due to the recent announcement of a proposed ban on bluefin tuna fishing. This post does not talk about the conservation issues, [...]... Read more »

Willis, J., Phillips, J., Muheim, R., Diego-Rasilla, F., & Hobday, A. (2009) Spike dives of juvenile southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii): a navigational role?. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 64(1), 57-68. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0818-2  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

Explain your total sheep played

by Simon Halliday in Amanuensis

When you come across a line like this in a paper, you can't help but laugh, "We now discuss and explain the cumulative number of sheep played in all rounds of the game." Yes, subjects played sheep. You may wonder how. I shall attempt to explain.In three papers based on work in South Africa and Namibia, Bjørn Vollan and, in one paper, his co-author Bernd Hayo investigate several different experiments with the Nama people. They ran trust games, trust games with third party punishment, and commo........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 03:05 PM

Isopods Cause Reproductive Death in Shrimp

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Isopods, you know them as those adorable little roly-poly bugs under rocks in the forest or the gigantic Bathynomus of the deep sea. They are also those cute and cuddly parasites in the gill chamber of shrimp too! Awww, How special! In a recent issue of JMBA-UK, Calado et al. describe how these fuzzy wittle [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 02:45 PM

Chasing Datura

by teofilo in Gambler's House

When I was discussing the archaeoacoustics of Chaco earlier, I mentioned that I was a little dubious about some of the stuff John Stein and Taft Blackhorse had said about Navajo connections to the Chaco Amphitheater.  They associate it with a ceremonial tradition involving the ritual use of datura.  There’s an immense anthropological literature on [...]... Read more »

Wyman, L., & Thorne, B. (1945) Notes on Navaho Suicide. American Anthropologist, 47(2), 278-288. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1945.47.2.02a00070  

  • March 12, 2010
  • 02:03 PM

State Use of NRDA (why Florida is pretty awesome)

by JL in Analyze Everything

One of the oddities of state and federal government is the sheer number of regulatory authorities that go unused. For example, the Clean Water Act grants the EPA broad authority to protect the nation's waters. The EPA then actually delegates permitting for the CWA to the Corps of Engineers and state agencies (in many cases). As far as I can tell, many of the authorities embedded in the Clean ... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 12:59 PM

Gender-Bending Chickens: Mixed, Not Scrambled

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: evolution, evolutionary biology, gynandromorph, bilateral gynandromorph bird, half-sider, mixed-sex chimaera, sex determination, molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, endocrinology, birds, chicken, Gallus gallus, ornithology,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper, journal club


Almost exactly one year ago, hundreds of American birders
were thrilled by sightings and photographs of this remarkable
Northern Cardinal, or Redbird, Cardinali........ Read more »

Zhao, D., McBride, D., Nandi, S., McQueen, H., McGrew, M., Hocking, P., Lewis, P., Sang, H., & Clinton, M. (2010) Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken. Nature, 464(7286), 237-242. DOI: 10.1038/nature08852  

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